Robotic Cardiothoracic Surgery

Robot-assisted heart and lung surgery at Scripps Health

A doctor operates a minimally invasive robotic surgery system in an operating room, representing advanced robotic cardiothoracic surgery at Scripps.

Dr. James Hemp, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program

Robot-assisted heart and lung surgery at Scripps Health

For eligible patients in need of heart or lung surgery, Scripps offers minimally invasive robotic procedures that may cause less pain, fewer complications and a quicker recovery.

Robotic heart and lung procedures from top San Diego surgeons

If you’re looking for alternatives to traditional cardiothoracic surgery, turn to Scripps. Our cardiothoracic surgeons have a strong track record of providing expert medical treatment using the da Vinci Surgical System. In fact, Scripps cardiothoracic surgeon James Hemp, MD, has performed more heart and lung robotic surgeries than any other surgeon in the San Diego region.

Types of robotic heart and lung surgery at Scripps

Scripps surgeons perform many types of robot-assisted heart and lung procedures,including:

Mediastinal tumor removal

This procedure removes tumors from the part of your chest cavity that separates the lungs (mediastinum).

Coronary revascularization surgery

This procedure reroutes blood flow around blockages in your coronary artery. This procedure is also known as cardiac revascularization, or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Surgery to repair atrial septal defect (ASD)

This congenital heart defect creates a hole between the upper two chambers of your heart.

Heart tumor removal

Though rare, cardiac tumors can occur in any region of your heart. Even if they are not cancerous, cardiac tumors can be life-threatening. Depending on their size and location, they can block blood flow into or out of your heart.

Benefits and risks of robotic cardiothoracic surgery

Robotic heart or lung surgery may not be appropriate for all patients. Talk to your surgeon about all your treatment options, including the risks and benefits of each.

Potential benefits

Like other minimally invasive procedures, robot-assisted heart or lung surgery may offer several benefits. These include: 

  • Less pain (reducing the need for pain medication)
  • Less blood loss (reducing the need for a blood transfusion)
  • Reduced risk of complications, including infection
  • Smaller, less visible scars
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery

Potential risks

Like all surgery, robotic cardiothoracic surgery also has immediate or long-term risks. These include:

  • Organ, tissue or nerve damage
  • Surgical site infection 
  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Equipment failure